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Craig Ballantyne: How to max out your productivity - Blog.

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Craig Ballantyne: How to max out your productivity

Teach yourself to live by an 11 out of 10 mindset, in under an hour. This episode of the Escape Your Limits podcast is a lesson in how to max out your productivity and create community after coronavirus from a high performance business coach – the world's most disciplined man, Craig Ballantyne.

The Escape Your Limits podcast is brought to you by Escape Fitness – a global community of gym design and gym equipment specialists that are looking beyond exercise alone to escape mental, physical and professional limits.

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Craig Ballantyne on the Escape Your Limits podcast.

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Who is Craig Ballantyne?

Craig Ballantyne grew up on a farm in Canada with dreams of being a strength and conditioning coach in the NHL. He studied for his Masters degree in exercise physiology and used that knowledge to develop himself as a regular contributor to publications such as Men's Health and Men's Fitness. Not content with just contributing to other publications, he created his own series of workout programming – Turbulence Training and Home Workout Revolution.

Today, Craig Ballantyne is not only the author of Unstoppable and The Perfect Day Formula, he's also the creator of The Perfect Life Workshop global and has founded a multiple seven-figure fitness Empire. His track record shows he's a master of productivity.

Empowering clients such as Joe Polish, Shanda Sumpter, Sharran Srivatsaa, Joel Marion, Jason Capital, and Bedros Keuilian to build the lives of their dreams, he's taught many entrepreneurs how to start making “Empire Money” while working far less than the average business owner.

The people who work with Craig are driven. Relentless. And, often, gifted with more potential than they realise.

For more information visit beunstoppablebook.com or perfectweekformula.com, email [email protected] or message Craig on Instagram @realcraigballantyne

Craig Ballantyne episode highlights.

  • Why you don't have to be wild and a risk-taker to be an entrepreneur, and how not all entrepreneurial aspirations start with the stereotypical lemonade stand during childhood.
  • How leaders and figureheads are showing their true colours during hard times, and how some people are being shown up as not being leaders after all.
  • What the best streaming platforms are for fitness classes, meditation, nutrition classes and other sessions when it comes to online learning and building a community.
  • When it's likely that people will feel safe in gyms from social distancing and fears of infection, and what operators can do in the meantime for their own benefit, their staff and their members.
  • Why we all need to build a film factory to use across the whole of social media in intelligent and engaging way.
  • What the seven words are that will bring you the biggest success when creating, planning, and implementing a content plan.
  • Why coronavirus and the pandemic has been the biggest teacher that your business is stronger as a team, even though it's important that individuals are also working in the foreground too.
  • How you can boost your confidence on video and get much better at public speaking, learning to use it as a performance and business tool even if you don't enjoy it.
  • The one strategy that you can use to get great on video, inspiring confidence and a willingness to grow in just one month.
  • Why understanding the freedom paradox will help you eliminate negativity and embrace discipline for progress in anything.
  • How discipline isn't about harsh rules and blunt decisions, it's more about subtraction of the temptations in your life that block productivity.


For more insights from fitness industry thought leaders and entrepreneurs, check out the blog homepage.

Discover more about Escape Fitness.

Full episode transcript.

Craig Ballantyne  00:00
Leaders are either becoming lions or you're finding out that that leader was actually a hippo and you can't turn a hippo into a lion. So it's it's remarkable to see in this is all across the board. You're seeing this in healthcare. You're seeing this in the government. You're seeing this in politics. You're seeing the true colors of a lot of people right now.

Matthew Januszek  00:22

Unknown Speaker  01:20
Hello, Craig.

Craig Ballantyne  01:21
Hello, how are you very well. Yeah.

Matthew Januszek  01:24
Yeah, real good. Thanks. Excellent. Excellent. Well, thanks for doing this. I know my wife was very excited about this has been getting me reading all your books and things that we've gotten are covered. So I'm really, really appreciate you being able to do this interview with me today. Thank you. So we're at home Where? You know, have you got children? No, you don't. Okay. Well, I do. I got a crazy dog. You got crazy dog. Okay, so, so we kind of like flung into this strange situation where we've got wives and children and homeschooling and businesses going on. So my daughter has been very familiar with the podcasts I've doing and we sat in the car talks about the interview. And she had this question and I said, Well, why don't you? Why don't you come on and ask Craig the question. So she's here. This is Shea. And, and she's got a question just to kick off the interview. So I'm going to stick the earphones on and I'll let her ask this for you. Here you go.

Unknown Speaker  02:18
What made you think that you wanted to be an entrepreneur coach? Was it like your grandparents? Or was it like someone who inspired you?

Craig Ballantyne  02:29
It's great question. I got fired from my job. So I had to be. I never thought that's Shay. That's a great question. And when I was growing up, I wasn't I wasn't the type of kid who is had the lemonade stand or whatever. You know, I had a job from I was a little bit older than you but I was I grew up on a farm. So I was working from about eight years old. And then I got my first real job when I was 13. And I was paid $2 and 85 cents an hour to dig ditches, and I still went Worked for that guy for like nine years. And even when I was done college, I got a job working from somebody else. And then I got fired from one of my jobs. And I thought, all right, I'm unemployable. I better start my own business.

Unknown Speaker  03:11
Okay. Thank you.

Craig Ballantyne  03:13
Thank you. You're welcome.

Matthew Januszek  03:16
Yeah, thank you so much.

Craig Ballantyne  03:18
No, I would call myself. My mentor, Mark Ford wrote a book called The Reluctant entrepreneur and he, and he uses the phrase chicken entrepreneur, and I'm more of a chicken entrepreneur instead of one of these wild risk taking entrepreneurs. So that's good in times like this. But in the good times, I don't make as much money as some of my Wilder friends.

Matthew Januszek  03:40
Yeah, that's right. Yeah, it's an interesting time. I certainly see myself. You know, in some ways, it's quite exciting because it sort of puts you in an inter a very different position where you've got to think on your feet and you've got to be able to move quite quickly which which in an established business, pretty much as you've said, is not always needed. So again, Um, you know, what do you see, you know, times like these people, you know, different people sort of thrive in in different positions within a company or, you know, within a sort of leadership group do you think?

Craig Ballantyne  04:15
Absolutely. And so, I'm like you I mean, I'm invigorated more than ever to help people and it's a new set of problems and puzzles. Now if only there wasn't so much pain along with it and for everybody listening You know, I'm, I have some business I have multiple many businesses and some of them are in a lot of pain. Right now I own three gyms. And you know, back to your question. I have a guy that runs to my gyms co owner of my gyms in South Carolina, and my goodness, has he stepped in his name is Daniel Woodrum has he stepped into his greatness as a leader. He was a he was a very good leader before, but what he has done to galvanize the community to then become a leader to other gym owners. to experiment to do this, all while having a two year old and a baby that will be born in two or three months from now he's doing he's just, it's unbelievable the workload he has taken on, but he knows what we're up against. And he knows the significance of the situation. And so you're seeing people like that, but you're also people seeing people retract. So the leaders are either becoming lions, or you're finding out that that leader was actually a hippo and you can't turn a hippo into a lion. So it's it's remarkable to see in this is all across the board, you're seeing this in healthcare, you're seeing this in the government you're seeing this in politics, you're seeing the true colors of a lot of people right now.

Matthew Januszek  05:43
Would you say that similar to businesses as well where you know, maybe, you know, let's use the fitness space it's something that we're both familiar with, but we you know, would you say that you've got these lines and hippos as businesses as well, where you kind of have businesses may or may be having a bit of luck got it got themselves into Certain position with certain amount of locations. And then you know, some of the new new companies that have probably got all their energy and innovation that have not been able to make a break. Did you see this is a time where you know, the playing field will be leveled a little bit more, and some of those lines will will move forward.

Craig Ballantyne  06:16
I will, I would say it's not going to be leveled, the playing field will be decimated. And so the people that are lions, I would expect 70% of gyms to close before the end of April 2020. And then therefore, those people that are lions will consolidate online members. We have a coaching client of ours who runs an Anytime Fitness and he was featured last week on the Anytime Fitness website because of the innovation that he is doing within his gym to deliver virtual programs. I also sent an email to all my clients at the start of March and I was laughed, Laughed at including by my business partner he laughed at me and said you're you're taking this way too seriously. And then Five days later, everybody got on board. But I warned my clients well in advance and got them ready for it. So you do have these lions, these some of these people who are just going to do everything possible to save their businesses to grow. We're growing in virtual membership. And then even within your business, very much like this is analogy to to sports teams. In your business, you have lions who are intrapreneurs in your business, or simply great administrative assistants or trainers or whatever. And then you have people that you're finding out are hippos in your business. And again, you can't change them. So it doesn't necessarily mean you have to fire them. But you have to understand and modify your expectations of what some people are willing to do. And this is about as closest wartime conditions as I hope any of us will ever get. But I imagine I have no experience. But I imagine that you know, you get all these people trained in the army and you know, they're all like, yeah, you know, I'm going to be awesome under fire and then You know, you get them into actual conditions and some of the people who you thought were meek stand up and some of the people who you thought, you know, no definitely to to their own horn, turn and run for cover. So we are, as I said before, we are seeing the true colors. And I don't like saying this, but I know that we will have a massive bankruptcy in the fitness industry, this is going to the the social distancing, and the shutdown of gyms will last far longer than almost anybody on this call thinks, and definitely far longer than any of us want it to. And most businesses, they just don't have the cash on hand. So even if they're trying hard, they simply don't have the cash reserves. So unless they get a loan unless they get a bailout, unless they get rent relief, they will not exist. And I know that I am like Mr. doom and gloom here but you probably only have lions on listening to this show. So, you know, I'm not happy about I don't want gyms to close, but they will and we need to be prepared for that.

Matthew Januszek  09:00
So for those of you who have not heard heard, heard of yourself before, outside of being a best selling author and will send a bunch of your great books I've been reading, and the world's most disciplined and most was my discipline plan and a productivity expert. And you've also got quite a background in the fitness industry. So just just for people who have not heard of Greg Ballantine, would you give us a bit of a background on yourself and how you kind of got involved in the fitness sector?

Craig Ballantyne  09:29
Yeah, absolutely. So I grew up in Canada on a farm in a small town called Stratford and ever in Stratford, you either do one of two things, you either play hockey, or you grew up to be Justin Bieber. So that's where Justin Bieber is from too. But you know, as a young kid in that town, I want to be a strength and conditioning coach in the National Hockey League, because I knew it wouldn't make it as a player. So I went on to college and I got an a master's degree in exercise physiology. And there was a defining moment when I was doing my master's degree. I'd started An email newsletter and I sent one of them to the fitness editor of men's health. And he decided he was going to publish one of my articles in the magazine. And for 17 years, I was regularly published in men's health, Men's Fitness and all of these things. And that gave me what I call the critical credibility to go out there and start my program called turbulence training and turbulence training. You can find my videos still on YouTube, I've I have over 17 million views of my videos on YouTube. I have sold hundreds of thousands of copies of my turbulence training and home workout revolution programs. And you know, somebody is funny, somebody just licensed my bodyweight programs that we aren't selling anymore because I kind of moved on. They license it for this period because they know it's a great opportunity to sell my bodyweight only videos. And so I did that for about, you know, 2000 to 2015 was when I was selling on the internet actually sold my first digital program, January 28, two thousand one, and then I stopped actively selling them in 2015 when I wrote the perfect day formula, I own three Fit Body Boot Camp gyms, they're a friend, that's a part of a franchise owned by my friend Pedro's who've you you've had on the show, I believe. And that's, that's my connection to the fitness world and kind of where I am right now. Right?

Matthew Januszek  11:19
So with your experience of creating, I guess digital fitness products and being involved in the bricks and mortar side, you know, what what do you sort of see happening today? I mean, sort of almost like, you know, within the last few weeks, as I relate today, and then how do you see this going forward? Because you know, if you look at what's happening, a lot of the traditional clubs are now doing sort of Instagram lives and Facebook Lives and putting stuff on YouTube so that there seems to be a kind of a drive to stay in touch and connected with people online so that they can, I suppose, prevent them from canceling and make sure They've got that relationship but you know, where you've probably had a big standing for a long time in that digital world. You know, what, what's your perspective on what you see happening and where do you think there's some of the things that companies should be looking at going forward?

Craig Ballantyne  12:15
Yeah, absolutely. Great question. So I will say that right now we're in an optimism phase, you know, we're a couple of weeks into this. We are getting some new members not not very many people are going on hold and if they go on hold, we kind of talk them off that ledge and back into it to at least try the digital version. And we're doing a lot of great stuff in digital so I'll give some tips right now to people. We're using zoom not Facebook Live, Facebook Live will stop you from using certain music doesn't allow great playback. So we've switched over to zoom for all of our sessions plus on zoom, you can see people's heads and that sort of stuff, but it's not just about the fitness stuff. We're doing daily meditation, daily nutrition, and and we have such a strong community that a guy started coming on and telling a simple dad joke at the end of the day because people are very stressed in this time. And so you know, that's probably one of their favorite things and they're staying in the community and a paying member because of that, then we're opening up the virtual at a lower rate to people who are not members, they don't get everything and they won't obviously being a paying member of our gym later on, but we're opening it up and maybe they will upgrade later on but they're not paying the full rate and then we're selling supplements. So Fit Body Boot Camp has a supplement line Nice timing on it, it was released just a couple months ago. So we are looking at additional revenue streams. We and then another thing that you could do which we aren't doing is you could then try and upgrade people into well you want one on one customized coaching and you can get into online one on one coaching using trainer eyes. So we have you know in my coaching business of entrepreneurs we probably have about of the you know, a couple hundred people to 90% of them are gym owners. And then 20% are online coaches in the fitness space, who use trainer eyes and nutrition apps and all that stuff to deliver this and have no gyms. So you could do a hybrid of the two, you could try and go all online with your your fitness facility or whatever. But what we're going to see is a lot of this stuff should have been done a long time ago, but it was easy for us to solely survive with our gyms as the in person thing. But what we're going to see now if here's a great juxtaposition, right? On the day that soulcycle started, you know was forced to shut down soul cycles revenue tanked peloton went up. So if soulcycle went a bit ahead of the curve and done more with their online, you know, they will exist in 12 months. I don't know if they'll exist, you know, in six to 12 months from now. So we all should have been delivering more online and it was a matter of time. Now it's forced us in it. So when we all come back to being able to in person, and it'll be it'll be weirdly different. You know, people, even though they know their neighbors, or help, like, everyone's gonna have suspicions about the person next to them in the workout. And soulcycle, you know, when they were trying to keep things going, they were putting every other bike is available, and now there's going to be fewer people in classes. So, you know, if you used to get 50 people in a boot camp, no one's going to be in that room, they're going to be like, this isn't safe, until probably spring of 2021 when there's a vaccine that's been for everybody. So you have to consider like, when we go back to normal, it's not normal. It's the new normal, and you will need to complement your business with additional online training and take the community online because people are always online. So there is optimism. I'm a short term pessimist, long term optimist. I use what's called the Stockdale paradox and if people don't know Admiral Jim Stockdale, his story Being in a Vietnam prison for seven years in the war. He confronted the brutal facts every day. But he knew he eventually would get out. And the people who thought things were going to go back, they were going to get out in three months, they were going to be out by Christmas. Those guys died because they got to Christmas. They didn't get out. And they lost all hope. So I am I am brutally pessimistic today, but long term optimistic.

Matthew Januszek  16:28
I think that's a good, good way to look at things. Definitely. Yeah. I it's interesting. You say, you know, a lot of these business models, particularly some of these boutique studios, and these boot camps are that, you know, they're very much designed on a certain number of people in a class and getting as many people as you can into that footprint based on on your rents. And I suppose this is with the social distancing, as you've referenced, is probably going to screw that whole financial model up, I guess. And

Craig Ballantyne  16:56
is that where you can't see it being anything else? No. You know, the thing you have to consider with rents is it's not like there's a whole bunch of other businesses that are going to come in and take the take your spot so you know, maybe you'll get rent relief in some way there's a massive amount of government stimulus hopefully that'll be enough to get us through get us all through until you know, the social distancing becomes less of a thing but yeah, I would expect that there's going to be a massive amount people are going to be wearing you know it just in society I expect to see people you know, mask wearing will become normal beyond this. It's just going to change us in so many ways.

Matthew Januszek  17:39
So, yeah, what are your thoughts on on what it takes and you know, if we look at you mentioned that zoom is in terms of, I suppose, a tool a piece of software zooms more effective and Facebook Live etc. But in terms of the product you know, you've got peloton which are delivering some really good virtual classes. So they're taking the the club experience to the home and you've got the interaction with the trainers and there's some really clever technology that those guys have gotten probably invested a fortune small fortune in creating it. And but what what other sort of models do you think outside of just online coaching? You know, what what things do you think people can be looking at and what do you think it's going to take to bring those those ideas to market? You know, is that is the sort of group training model where people are paying to have a home workout and buy a bit of equipment, something you think is going to work? Or is it just really, you know, PT and coaching, where what's your views on that?

Craig Ballantyne  18:39
That's a great question. And I wish I did have a crystal ball. I think this is that. We all know, like, let's use a diet analogy, right. A lot of people listening to this they've gone through a competition. They've dieted down for summer. What happens when you are restricted? Well, you rebound generally so on the break side. I'm an introvert. So I'm like, I'm okay with all this stuff. But there's so many people who depend on human touch, they need it in this, you know, we've only really scratched the surface of how long we'll kind of have to be away from other people. And it must be driving people nuts. So on the bright side, when we do get a chance to open again, I believe that people will flood back because, hey, listen, an online online community is cool and all but even I'm, even me, the guy who's introverted and usually, like, just spent, you know, two weeks by himself or with my girlfriend alone. You know, by choice. I'm ready. Like, I'm like, I wish I could go back to that restaurant, I want to go out for brunch. And so we will see, the pendulum swing has swung forcibly swung in isolation and it will forcibly swing will not forcibly voluntarily swing. We'll just be like hugging strangers, you know, by the end of this. So that's the good news. And it's really comes down to building that community in that loyalty. And then you will have to think about that for the rest of your career. How do it's not about the workout? And yes, it's kind of about the energy and it's kind of about the results. But the more we become the community for people, the stronger our business is because humans have that hierarchy of needs and we want to be part of something so if you're not already thinking about that, it doesn't consume a lot of your mind please put more effort into it how do we become that and and I'm grateful that I have a business partner running my gyms because I'm not the type of person who naturally thinks that I've always gone to the gym done my thing I go to the gym to go to the gym believe I don't go to the gym for the community aspect but 80% of the average population, that's why they go in the end even if it's even if you have a big Anytime Fitness where it's just membership based. They still like to talk to this person that they've Don't even know their last name of who they seen at the gym for two years straight every Monday, you know, hovering around the benchpress?

Matthew Januszek  21:07
Well, one of the things that I know you, yourself and your people within your network have done extremely well. And I think a lot of traditional fitness businesses, particularly the more established ones have, have probably neglected the importance of it is to create that online community using social media, you have everything from YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, you know, you yourself, and many of your colleagues really do a great job at that, you know, that that's where a lot of people actually find out about you and what you're doing. Compare that to, you know, a traditional big box, it's like, well, the community happens within the gym, you know, within the four walls and that's what they focus on. What what are some of the things that you know, now, probably, it's going to be more important to create that in and out of gym community, you know, what, what are some of the things that you've learned over your careers, about creating Seeing the community and the relationships of people when they are at home, you know, what are some of the platforms that are successful for you? And how have you gone about that? Or you know, even today, how do you go about running that?

Craig Ballantyne  22:14
Yeah, so I look at it it is funny, every one of us needs to build a film factory and look at every single social media outlet as one that should be used can be used and can be used in a way where we do something once and it is published five times. So we are heavily on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and tik tok. Okay, five places and tick tock Yes, you should be on Tick Tock. Actually, that's our fastest growing social platform right now. Yeah, and, and it's, it's a different audience, of course, but these people will eventually become consumers and you put the fun stuff on there. You put the serious stuff on LinkedIn. And you put the kind of fun serious stuff, very personal stuff on Instagram. I actually, I describe each one of these social medias as a different pair of pants, like LinkedIn is wearing a pair of Dockers. And you know, tick tock is wearing some pair of leather pants or something and Facebook, well, you know, you kind of get the idea. But what you can do for right now, if you're thinking, I don't have time to make videos for all these things, yeah, you do, actually, because Tick Tock videos should be 30 seconds long at most, maybe 15 seconds, and they're fun. But think of think of where your people are. And in most cases, your people are probably going to be on Facebook, whether in a Facebook group or simply on your Facebook personal profile. Most of your clients are on Facebook first, then they're probably on Instagram. So you can make a video that goes on Facebook and Instagram, and just you know, use the same video on both places, but you need to be thinking about The seven words for all of your content, whether it's email content or video content, enter the conversation in the prospects mind at all times. So I'm just before this, I was helping my girlfriend, she is a beauty and style business. And we were going through April, and we were going through every day in April, and we were saying, you know, she was looking at our ideal customer avatar, and we were saying, okay, whose name is Megan? And we said, What is Megan thinking on Tuesday? You know, April 13, or whatever the Tuesday is, right? Maybe it's April 14. Okay, well, she's now been under lockdown. Three weeks, she's stressed. She's stressed eating. She's sitting at home in her in her sweatpants. And she got a zoom call and, you know, in five minutes, okay, that Day will make the Instagram post. How did it go from sweats to zoom ready in five minutes. And we actually did that post last week and got a great response. So if you do that, all the sudden, whether you're making it whether and again this works for email or a YouTube video or whatever, all the sudden, your people start to go Whoa, are you reading my mind? How did you know I wanted that? Because if you're doing content around that, versus and I love Pedro schooling is one of my best friends but he has this thing called fitpro newsletter and it pumps up the content and it's generic content. I'm like, we don't we're not using that we're not using generic content of, you know, this recipe where it's just like here. It's just content for the sake of content. No, we're putting out content for the sake of connection, not the content for the sake of content. Oh, wait, we're supposed to send out an email newsletter every Monday. So we'll just send out this generic thing. Oh, no, no, no, no, we're gonna sit there and we're gonna think, oh, my goodness, you know, it's Sunday morning. And people are like really scared, but they really want to be outside. Oh, here's the video I gotta make. I gotta make something light inspirational. And because it's going to hit them in the head. With what they're thinking and in the heart, it's going to fire them up. And it's going to seem like I looked into their mind and thought of what they were thinking, answer their biggest problem. And now they're like you gave me hope today. That's what you need to be thinking with every piece of content you create. And when you do that, it sets you so far apart from everybody else. And not only will it connect greater with your community, but that's how it allows you to bring to build a greater audience.

Matthew Januszek  26:27
So one of the interesting things that you've said there, you know, use the word avatar into the conversation with a P, but I suppose, you know, do you think that this what's happened at the moment is going to put pressure on businesses that have probably got away with being generic and it's like, well, we cater for everybody to having to now be really niche down and say like, this is who I'm talking to, you know, I'm talking to Mary she's 35 years old, she lives here and be able to enter those conversations as opposed to kind of You know, there are a lot of these big companies that do talk to everybody and I suppose it's quite difficult to enter a conversation with so many different avatars. What's your thoughts on that?

Craig Ballantyne  27:10
Yeah, definitely. So you know, we're coming out of the best of best times in in a lot of ways into the worst of worst time. What what? Like this is some movie that nobody could have thought up. And so it was easy. It was easy, not easy. Let me rephrase that. It was generally simple. It was not easy. I know because we own gyms but it was generally simple to make the case that you should try us out. Okay great. You didn't have to be that great at it. You know you had good location. You know you a lot of walk ins you have you know, you partner with Anytime Fitness. You got brand recognition. You were Fit Body Boot Camp, you maybe got a little edge in the marketing, but at the end of the day, what really kept people coming back was the smile from your desk staff was the relief They had with their trainer or the connection they had even with the owner, the company in the community. So yeah, it really, that's going to be one of the separation points. But I think the biggest separation point is who's willing to take the most pain and persist through it kind of like the hardest workout you've ever done. You know, you know, we've all done really hard workouts or we've done tough mudders or we've done marathons or we've stepped onstage in our in our bikini bottoms for a show. And you know, the people that got the greatest results tended to be the ones that were able to persist through the greatest pain and discomfort, and, you know, resist the temptations and that's really going to be the separating point, as well.

Matthew Januszek  28:43
So in terms of this connection, I gained talking to some people with existing businesses that are having to probably decide how they're going to pivot their businesses and do things a little bit differently. When when you talk about this reaching out and connecting and using the different platforms to do that, who? Who are some of the people in the business that would be good for this? I know, in your instance, and you talk about bedrosian, you're very much the figures, the inspiration, you kind of almost like, your own personalities. In some respects. Is this something that the business owners now need to probably, you know, get out from the back office and do this? Or is this something that they now need to kind of work with their teams to say, Well, look, you know, they go marry, they go, Fred, you know, get out, let's try and sort of, you know, have these conversations and put together a plan to develop these communities that you've been talking about.

Craig Ballantyne  29:37
Yeah, you you can't be hiding behind the name of the business. You know, when people put a, you know, for example, I had a client who was going through my Instagram course the other day, and I looked at his page and he's got, you know, the logo of his gym. Nobody, nobody's buying the logo of a gym right now. And it has to be the personal connection. It's personal, social media. I don't care how much you don't want to be on it. The person down the street is on it. And now they've got a connection to them. And at the end of the day, everything else being equal, I'm going to do business with somebody I know like and trust. Great, you got great workouts on zoom, they got great workouts on zoom, you've got a Facebook group, they got a Facebook group, what's the difference? And a lot of it's going to come down to who you are. So you do have to step up behind it. And all you have to you don't have to like be doing Facebook lives every day. If you're not comfortable with it. You just need to be showing your care and concern. And you just take a look at the people who you look up to in this time right now. Who are you looking up to maybe you're looking up to Oprah because she did this message or maybe you're maybe like somebody you liked before you're realizing your true colors and that they you're not hearing from them or you know, it's one of these senators that sold the stock before You know, they told everybody everything was going to be okay like that stuff, you can't hide that stuff so, so yeah, you do need to bring that personal connection in it but but we're keeping all of our staff at the gyms on payroll and they're doing the training sessions if we're just trying to replicate the entire system and they're doing additional things and we want our clients to be as connected to our trainers and and listen we've had we've had the situation where trainers left with our clients before everybody has that as a gym owner. But you can't stop that. You know, worry from building you know, having your clients build a connection with your team with your roster of people. And so yeah, it's just like in the NFL, people get traded and you know, the peat fans get a little angry about it, but then eventually a new person comes in and and they become a super fan of them, and they still were where the old person shares And life goes on. So it's not just you that has to be there, you know, get your team involved. Obviously, you can't be doing team videos these days because of the social distancing. But you're gonna have your team on there as much as possible distributing a bit of the workload to, and it builds the community. So that's what I encourage people to do. It's almost like building your Avengers superhero team, like everybody kind of has their own favorite, you know, Marvel character, but at the end of the day, the Avenger movies themselves do better than the individual ones, I would expect.

Matthew Januszek  32:35
So, that brings on a question that, you know, we are going to have to do things differently. And in your book, The unstoppable you know, you talk about limiting beliefs and I suppose, for a lot of people, even myself, you know, I've I've only been doing these podcasts a couple years and I was terrified in front of the camera. And, you know, how do you deal How do you get over some of these beliefs that you've had in order to kind of run You know, not just for yourself, but for a lot of the people that you know, the people that you employ and you know, the customers that you serve, you know, what are some of the things that you've learned and advice that you can give to people that are probably having to make some of those shifts in their in their own mental

Craig Ballantyne  33:14
world? Well, well, first of all, there's the acute negative pain and that is you have no choice. You you literally have, well, you have a choice of quitting or you have a choice of figuring it out. And everything is a learnable skill. So when I started speaking on stage when I did my first YouTube video in 2007, you can go back and watch it they're horrible. I tried it.

Craig Ballantyne  33:40
Yeah, you know, I talked like a robot I hated I physically hated being on camera. I would be drained energetically after a five minute video, let alone a five minute presentation on stage. But, and I still don't like making video today, and I still don't like I don't mind speaking on stage, but I don't like it. Don't love it, like Brendon Burchard might. But I learned how to be very good at it and use it as a performance because I knew how important it was to what I wanted to accomplish. So, if you realize, like, if you go back to what I said, I'm a short term pessimist. The negative is we have no choice. But I'm also a long term optimist. And if you have a strong vision for your future, I don't think your three year vision for your future and hopefully everybody has a vision for how they want their life to go, you know, they won't be living in this house on this street, you know, driving this car and taking this many vacations and spending this much time with extended family. You know, we're all still aiming for that long term vision. It's just, you know, like, it's up here. And we thought, you know, the path was going to be straight up the mountain. Oh, we didn't know we had to go down 10,000 feet into a valley and add another 10,000 feet to the climb. Well, okay, so be it. I still want to be here. And so if that's the case, you You have to understand that everything remains every skill in life is learnable. And you don't have to be a naturally high energy person. If you and I were having a conversation, I actually talked down and negative tone like this all the time and, and it sounds like I'm always anchored. But when I get on these when I get on these sessions, and when I'm not sounding like Dr. Doom, you know, I realized I got to bring the energy. Nobody wants to listen to the boring monotone voice. I learned how to do that. I did the Tony Robbins thing. There's anchors that I do before doing certain things. Sometimes it's music, sometimes it's simply putting on a shirt. You know, this is my 11 out of 10 shirt if you are watching this, and this is this is my mood all the time, even on the worst days of my life. I'm an 11 out of 10. That's my baseline. That has to be I have no choice. And I learned how to be this. So everything is a learnable skill. And if you understand, you know resistance training, you get people to come into the job. gym. And they say, Oh, I can't do a push up or I can't lose weight or I can't do that. And for us as fitness gurus, and you know, we know that that's not true. And we just need to convince them. So you need to put yourself in the shoes of your client. If you say, I don't know how I'm going to be able to get through this or I'm not good at video or I'm not a good leader. If you fill yourself with negative self talk, you know that that's the path to not achieving the goal. So you have to go Okay, listen, listen, if this formerly broke, struggling, socially anxious, introverted, binge drinking personal trainer who grew up on a farm, named Craig Ballantine, can go from that, who, you know, my mother, she just thought if I was an accountant, you know, that'd be the greatest thing because she was worried I was going to end up a drunk at the factory where she worked, you know, or a drunk like my, my father was an alcoholic. He was a drunk farmer and he you know, unfortunately drank himself to death. She was worried I was going to end up there. So I, there's no reason why I didn't end up there I could have, but I instead chose this other path and it is not overnight solvable, but you can get very good. So I will give you this like, I know people are thinking I'm not good at video, there's no way that I can make video. So here's what you're going to do. Every single day for the next 30 days, you're going to hold the iPhone or whatever it is you have up in front of your face, and you're going to do a one minute video. And you don't have to post all of them you should post some of them. But you don't have to post all and you're not going to be done your day's homework until you film The one minute video. So you know 17 seconds and you stumble over where you know you start again. And here I'll give you two topics. One minute on your favorite book, one minute on the lesson you've learned from your children, one minute on what you got you into the fitness industry. One minute on your favorite exercise and why one minute on the thing that drives you crazy about fitness myths in the world. One minute about why your gym is so amazing. One minute about your favorite trend. Okay, you got it. million topics, you can do a minute on these things. You do a minute, every single day for the next 30 days, I guarantee you, not only will your skills and ability in speaking your comfortableness with the phone increase, your self confidence will increase. I've seen this I've done these 30 day challenges with hundreds of people on my Instagram and in my courses and all that sort of stuff. So that alone will get you there. Now, in addition to the 31 minute videos, you will do every week, 110 minute video for YouTube. And this has to go online. And it has to be 10 minutes because YouTube rewards videos that are 10 minutes and longer more than they reward anything else. So you'll sit out you'll stand up there and say, Hey, here are the five biggest fitness myths you need to know about working out at home. That'd be the title of your video that'll go on YouTube, and then you'll come you'll talk about those five things, but you'll tell stories. Okay, tell a story for each point and you have to talk for 10 minutes It's my friend Jason capital said to me that the average person speaks for 12 minutes a day. Do you think you're going to get good on video speaking 12 minutes a day No way, the way that I, I didn't get good on video in interviews until I did 75 podcasts that were an hour long and I've done 375 probably, probably, well, that's 375 interviews. I've also done 150 of my own and then 150 with Pedro's so I've done you know, a couple thousand hours of audio plus all the YouTube videos that I've done, you know, so I went from zero to that over time, you know, it's like 10,000 hour rule, I'm getting better, and you will get better even in that short amount of time. Just so short videos, make that commitment and you people around you will go. That's amazing what you're able to do. And by able by being that you'll be able to become a better leader online to your digital clients. It We'll be making a world difference. Absolutely make a world of difference.

Matthew Januszek  40:03
Yeah, I guess you know, a lot of people don't think about that, you know that the statement you just said, you know, we speak 12 minutes in a day and that, you know, it sounds quite right for a lot of people and I suppose you, you just you, you're instantly think, well, I'm no good, but it's like, well, how many hours you've actually done it. I'm like you I've done over sort of 150 podcasts now and I'm still getting started. But you can see the progression and I'm, I suppose, just putting in those hours, eventually, even if you even if you're just absolutely awful with no, no natural talent, you're going to be a lot better than most people.

Craig Ballantyne  40:39
Please understand, and that's what I was go back and watch my 300 workout video type in Craig Ballantine, 300 workout. So I'm sure everybody who's listening has heard of the 300 movie or the 300 workout. I didn't design it, and I don't take any credit for it. But at the time I was filming videos for Men's Health magazine. And they said, Craig, will you make a video of this workout because it just come out in the magazine as an article. And people were like, Oh, I don't know how to do some of these exercises. So they had me do the video, they put on their website. And I was like, Well, I'm gonna put on YouTube. And so that was like my first video that got over a million views. I think it's close to 2 million now. It has several thousand thumbs down, because I'm horrible. So I have more thumbs down on YouTube than 99% of people have views of all their videos, right? So I was horrible. And I am no longer horrible. And if I can do it, you can do it.

Matthew Januszek  41:43
Excellent. So let's talk about so people are at home, I think you've given some great ideas and practical information of things that people can do whilst they're locked down and stuck in with their families and away from their colleagues. And one of the things that you talk about in your book is this is this freedom paradox and it was An interesting subject one that I feel is caught me out in my younger days similar to yourself actually, where where, you know, you think you want freedom, but actually, it's not great. So it can be quite devastating. So talk to me a little bit about that concept, and then how that can apply to where people are today. You know, where they're at home, and they've probably got all this freedom because there is no colleagues, there's no structure in their days. Just Just give me your views on that for a moment.

Craig Ballantyne  42:28
Yeah, you you have to be and I just filmed my own podcast around this, you have to be more regimented than ever. Because I remember when I you know, as I was talking to Shay, your daughter, I got fired from a job in 2000. I was working for a large supplement company and their nutrition research, and I got fired. And so I went from being in the office, I was the first guy in last guy out, I loved the job and I lost it. So part of my identity stripped away, and I was kind of depressed, and I was, you know, looking for personal training jobs. And you know, to A couple months, and I would wake up and I wouldn't do anything. And then I would have a nap after not doing anything. And so I know what it is like to be close to a depressive state, you know, financially worried, not having success having almost no victories. What I should have done was been more regimented than ever. And so a couple years later, I had anxiety attacks because I was getting up late and I was drinking too much. And I was working all the time, and I had to get more regimented. So whatever time you were getting up before, let's say you had to be at the gym for five and now you're getting up at 730 or eight. We don't have to go back to five but let's get up at let's get up 15 minutes earlier for three days then 15 minutes earlier again 15 minutes earlier day and then you know, get around six o'clock in the morning. You get up at six you fill your mind you plant it with good things you do not go on and watch any news. In fact, I forbid you from watching Fox News, CNN going on the New York Times. Just forget about all news. If there's anything that you need to know if they increase social distancing to seven feet, you will be told about it. Okay? You do not need to watch news. So you eliminate the negative and you start planting good things in your mind garden. First thing, and then you go and because the night before you planned ahead, you know exactly what you need to do first thing in the morning. Okay, great. I need to work on this marketing, I need to script out this YouTube video and I need to script out this and I need then I need to work on the schedule for my trainer, great, you do all of that. Then you get to check your email or social media and then you post good stuff for other people. And then you have earned your breakfast and your meditation and your walk with your dog. So I do I do what's called the farm boy morning where we get up and we go to work right away. And we don't we don't screw around with too much morning routine stuff because too much of a morning routine is just a perverse form of procrastination. And then from there, you get into doing more administrative work making sure everybody's good you know you make you know you get in the zooms and all That stuff done, you make sure it's communities taken care of, then you get to reward yourself with a workout at lunchtime, okay, maybe you can still go into your gym, you're lucky. I'm not this I've never been without weights for this long. I just moved from my home near Toronto to Vancouver for my girlfriend and I used to have a home gym now I don't so I don't know. You know, I'm as freaked out as many of your clients probably are. So anyways in the afternoon, then you do some calls and meetings and stuff like that to be the lion leader your team needs you to be and then you've set a cutoff time for the end of the day, so that you're not working too late and then watching TV too late and getting to bed too late because that's the start of the vicious cycle. You set the cutoff time of four o'clock or three o'clock or five o'clock or whatever it is and you do 10 minutes of planning the next day. You got to plan the night before because if you're doing your to do list in the morning, it's already too late. Because research shows we have the greatest willpower discipline intention first thing in the morning and if you're planning your day, you're wasting That energy and that focus. So you do that, then you go and you switch your mindset from being on work to being off work and spending time with your family or yourself or your personal development or whatever it is, but you got to be like that. And your nutrition has to be on point just because you're at home, listen to whole, let's buy some potato chips and watch Netflix, the honeymoon phase is over, back on track back on track as regimented as possible. And there again, you just simply have no other choice other than complete failure and defeat.

Matthew Januszek  46:35
I like that cutoff point because I think that's the other end of the spectrum. You know, if you're motivated, it's like, well, I'll just you know, that you kind of run on and it's like a little bit of family and a little bit of work and, and then then you end up being sort of tired the next day when you come in because you've kind of you know, it's just rolled in so I like the fact of saying like, you know, this is this is when we go home you know, this is when it finishes and and and then you can sort of wind down naturally. Yes sir.

Craig Ballantyne  46:59
Interesting. Yeah, and and I think a cut off thing is so important for everything, you know, we need to cut off time for our workouts, you know, it's not, it's not 45 minutes and then yeah, you know, make my workout a little bit longer because then it bleeds into everything else. And same with the calls that you have the meetings that you have. Everybody always has a start time. Yeah, no one has a cutoff. And, and so cutoff times for everything. And that way you'll stay on track you need to be as regimented as as it was for my friend when he went to West Point like he he knew when he had we had this many minutes to eat, you get used to it and you become very disciplined very successful.

Matthew Januszek  47:38
And what about in terms of building these this habit muscle? It sounds and we've all tried this, you know, you get stuck into something can you okay for a few days, and like like even workouts and then you know, people, people drop off what what have you found has helped you with that discipline to say right um, and you know, I've seen People call you the most disciplined man. How have you created that in terms of your behaviors from a professional perspective?

Craig Ballantyne  48:09
It's the exact opposite of what most people think. So everybody thinks how disciplined Jocko willing this and this and you know, we're a navy seal. Listen, listen for the average person, the way that I became very disciplined was through subtraction. I used to binge drink, okay, well, I'm not going to go to the same environments and hang around the same people and have the willpower to not drink like, you know, nobody can do that. So it's removal of those environments and those environments with those people. I didn't have to remove those people from my life, but now I could only see them Saturday morning for a hike before they started drinking in the afternoon. I couldn't do the rest of it. So it's removal. You have a bunch of junk food in your house or you know, as professionals, we tell our clients if you have junk food in the house, you're Gonna eat it. I don't care if you put it up in the highest cupboard, etc, you're gonna eat it when you want it. If you don't want to eat it, remove it, subtract it from your life. So you everybody here who's like, Oh, you know, I gotta sit down, I got to write this chapter for the book that I'm going to write while I'm on, you know, lockdown. Oh, well, here's my iPhone here. And here's that book that I've haven't picked up in two months. But now that I've got some work to do, I'll start reading the book. And then here's a bag of m&ms. Okay, well, let's just remove all of those things. And if you remove all those things, and you block access to the internet, you have nothing you could possibly do on your computer. But write that chapter, you will have a much better chance of writing that chapter. So it's discipline through subtraction, whatever the temptation is, so when people come to me and say, I can't get this done, I don't say all right, well, let's you know, make you more disciplined. I'm like, Okay, well, what's stopping you? Oh, well, you know, I I don't get to it too often. Three o'clock in the afternoon. Okay, well then let's remove all those other things in front of it and move it up. And now it becomes the thing you do when you have the greatest willpower discipline intention. Okay, now it gets done. So again, you know, going back to the morning routine thing, I've had a lot of people that I've worked with in the past, whether they're copywriters, or book writers, or even gym owners, and they want to do these 90 minute morning routines, and then they got to take care of the kids, and then they want to do their own workout and then they want to do the hardest thing. And then that's not gonna happen because everybody wants a piece of your time and they find themselves at 330 in the afternoon going, Oh, man, I was so busy today. It's so much activity, but no accomplishment. Hmm. Well, yeah. So you got to switch it. You know, if you're gonna you you want to work out or you want to do an hour of power. If it's important to you, you'll do it later. But you got to start with the hardest things first, Eat That Frog is Brian Tracy said Hmm.

Matthew Januszek  50:55
So final two questions before we wrap up then Craig. There's there's a bunch of resources that you've got books and online courses Can you can you just give people a bit of an overview of where they can find you and what they you know what some of the, you know, some of the sort of great things that you've got to where people can continue the relationship with you from here.

Craig Ballantyne  51:18
For sure. So I'm most active on Instagram. So real Craig Valentine there. I also love email. I'm one of those weirdos. So Craig at godfather comm you can email me and then for books I have. I have many but I'll send people to one of two of them. If you're really struggling with anxiety right now get my book unstoppable and you can get that on Amazon Of course or be unstoppable book calm. And then if you're like okay, listen, I just need more time. Get my new book, perfect week formula. That's even better than my first book perfect. Something like I wrote the perfect day formula like dummy you wrote the wrong Book, there's seven days in a week, you you, you know, and you get a lot of feedback. I'm like, What about this? And what about this? So we and the funny thing is, I didn't even write the perfect week formula. I told the stories to my co author, I taught him how to write my voice, and I saved myself hundreds of hours and so perfect week formula calm or again on Amazon.

Matthew Januszek  52:19
Okay, fantastic. So last question, Craig. escape your limits is about escaping what you've believed or told yourself is impossible and gone on. To make it possible. What would you say is an example of where you've escaped your own personal limits?

Craig Ballantyne  52:36
Well, when I had anxiety attacks, they were so bad, it was 2006 that I went to the emergency room twice because of them. And if anybody's had that anxiety, you don't think that the world will ever be normal. You're like, please just let me let my body feel normal. Let my brain feels normal. So you know, I escaped those limits. By being very proactive. I tried everything from Qigong, yoga, tai chi, meditation. I hated all of it. But I did it. I turned over every rock and I found some tools that allowed me to overcome it. So I'm a big believer in personal responsibility that if you want to achieve something, whether it's writing a book, or whether it's getting your gym back to healthy position, or becoming great at video, you need expert advice. But at the end of the day, you need to take the action and just be persistent and never stop. And, you know, we can overcome a lot of things. And at the end, the end of the day, you need to understand that there's somebody with 10 times more obstacles and excuses in their way that are doing more with their lives than you and i right now. And like we need to always be looking for these great inspirations and going if they can do that, I can do this. Fantastic. Well, Craig, I appreciate your time today. Best wishes with dealing and navigating through this situation. I look forward to catching up with you again on the other side maybe absolutely will be stronger. All of us will be stronger on the other side. Absolutely. Thank you very much.